Dog ownership is on the rise, but not everyone knows exactly what they are getting into when they bring Fido home. Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. Dogs have their own individual personalities, quirks, and needs. The first few months -- even years -- may be more difficult than you anticipated. While that is to be expected, it’s important that you do what you can to make sure your dog’s presence does not impede on your neighborhood’s overall well-being. Use the following etiquette tips to be the best dog owner and neighbor you can be.

Scoop the Poop
Always keep a supply of plastic bags on hand when you have your dog in public. In just about every city in America, there are local ordinances requiring dog owners to pick up after their pooches. Beyond that, it is simply impolite to let your pup do his business and then just leave it there to be met by an unsuspecting shoe.

Picking up your dog’s poop with any kind of material is better than not doing it at all. If you want to have less of an impact, there are biodegradable bags available. However, simply removing and discarding the waste is an environmentally friendly thing to do. Cleaning up after your dog helps prevent bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other harmful microorganisms from making their home in your area’s soil and water supply.

 

Curb Excessive Barking
Not all dogs bark and howl. But if your pup does, you want to get a handle on that bad habit before the complaints start pouring in from neighbors. Stopping barking completely isn’t entirely possible. It’s in your dog’s DNA to do what he can to warn his pack leader that there is a disturbance around the territory. However, you can curb excessive barking, especially when you are in the house. Reduce visual stimuli by drawing the curtains so your dog can’t see people and animals passing by. There are also several training techniques you can use to establish positive connotations regarding being calm and quiet in your pup’s brain.

Dogs often bark out of turn because they are bored and overstimulated. Exercising your dog regularly and often helps to wear him out and ease his mind. Try tiring out your pup at the dog park for an hour or so and see if that helps reduce the noise.

Establish Boundaries
Establishing boundaries is a key to effective dog training. It’s also the key to being a good neighbor when you have a dog. A sturdy and secure fence around the backyard keeps your pup safe when letting him outside to enjoy some fresh air. It also prevents your dog from getting into places where he should not be -- namely, your neighbors’ yards. You can install an effective fence no matter your budget. Most homeowners spend between $216 and $4,399 to install a fence.

Furthermore, if your backyard is not fenced in, your dog is more likely to escape and wander around the neighborhood. Seeing a stray dog will at the very least instigate feelings of curiosity. At the most, your neighbors will feel stressed and worried at the sight of your dog out on his own. Keeping him safe and on your property avoids this problem altogether.

If you are bringing a pup into your life, it is important to do all you can to be a responsible dog-owning neighbor. Always pick up after your dog and help prevent harmful microorganisms from getting into your area’s soil and water supply. Curb excessive barking by reducing stimuli, using training techniques, and tiring your dog out throughout the day with enough exercise. Finally, a good neighbor ensures his dog doesn’t trespass onto other people’s property by installing a sturdy fence to keep him in the yard.